Men's Belt Guide A man's belt is not just for holding up trousers, a great belt can be used to make a style statement or add a personal touch to formal wear. A belt creates a clear distinction between your top and bottom half tying an outfit together. A general rule that most men know is to match your belt and shoes and if your pants have belt loops, wear a belt. In order to make the very most out of this classic accessory, your choice of belt should reflect your personality and compliment whatever you’re wearing. A belt is essentially a mid-sectioning line that cuts your body into two halves, creating a shortening visual effect. If want to look taller, make sure to match your belt with either your trousers or your shirt making the ‘line’ less pronounced. If you are a taller man and are looking to break up your vertical line, complementary colors or clashing hues work well, so you can take advantage of colored belts or detailed styles. Belt Sizing The belt size number corresponds to the length in inches or centimeters of the tour of the strap, measured from the buckle to the mid hole where it should be fastened, allowing for slightly higher or lower waist trousers and allows for the variations in waist circumference everyone experiences. Formal Belts Your formal belt for tailored trousers and suits should be completely understated. It should be made of fine leather and come in brown, black or a very subtle color and between 2.5 – 3.5cm wide. You want your formal belt to discreetly compliment your outfit and play a supporting role to whatever you’re wearing not stealing the show. Make sure your belt and shoes match and stay away from fancy buckles. The strap can be a smooth patent finish or have a subtle pattern such as a leather grain. Leave bold patterns and contrasting stitching for your casual belts. Also, pick your favorite metal finish (gold or silver) and stick with it, including jewelry and watches. Wedding bands are the one exception. Casual Belts Your casual belts is whatever goes best with your casual clothing. The width of you casual belt can be anything, but there are some general guidelines to adhere to. The thinner the pants the thinner the belt, Linen pants look better with a thin belt and rugged jeans look better with a wider belt. Any belt wider than 4cm requires you to consider if it will pass through the loops on any of your pants or jeans and realize a belt this size is a statement. With a casual belt you don’t really need to match it with anything, but, it is a good idea to avoid matchy-matchy shoe and belt combinations, they may appear contrived. You can have a casual belt intentionally clash with colors for bold effect. There is a huge variety of styles, woven leather, fabric webbing, studded, embroidered, tooled leather, exotic skins, printed and more. The options available to men are so varied, you have no excuse to wear your formal belts with a casual look. It just doesn’t work. There are many exotic leathers, alligator, ostrich, lizard, that can get a bit expensive but tend to last for decades making the investment worthwhile. For the more frugal shopper, you can get the exact same look from embossed leather with the exotic grain at a far lower price point. Statement Belts Your statement belt can be anything you are comfortable with. It could be a handmade belt you received as a gift, a alligator designer style you couldn’t resist or any belt that complements your favorite pair of jeans. Strive to find a statement belt that reflects the statement you want to make and be sure you look for details that make your belt unique and wear it wisely. A statement belt can be just a leather strap with a fantastic belt buckle. There are a huge variety of buckles from the classic cowboy buckles to novelty super hero buckles, just be sure you are comfortable with the statement it is making. Must-Own Belts 1) A formal, black or brown belt, to go with your formal shoes (it isn’t difficult to find a double-sided style that features both colours) 2) A black, tan or natural leather belt woven, braided or a simple leather strap you’ll wear with jeans. 3) A webbed, fabric belt with a double-D buckle fastening for summer. Make sure this one is in a color you can easily work into your existing wardrobe: 4) A statement belt. Colored, snakeskin, beaded, studded, metal chain – this is the belt that you will use to mark yourself out from the crowd and has the potential to become your signature piece.